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Captain America's Shield: 16 Crazy Things You NEVER Knew
The shield is in an odd place right now. Previously held by the likes of Rogers, John Walker, and Bucky Barnes, current bearer Sam Wilson recently relinquished the shield over his distaste with the current political climate.
Captain America evidently had a hell of a time between Captain America Comics issues one and two, with his jaunt to Wakanda and quite a few encounters established as taking place with his original triangle shield. After leaving the original badge-shaped shield in Wakanda as a show of good faith, he used a replica shield of that shield for a time. At some point in-between the issues, the discus shaped shield was developed.
The discus shield is usually attributed as being a vibranium-adamantium alloy, but this originates from a typo in The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe. Roosevelt as part of the second phase of Project Super-Soldier. In fact, even to this day, Captain America is still explicitly a military creation, and his uniform and shield are technically the property of the US government. This point is driven home in Captain America , where the US Government ordered Rogers to function as a government operative on the grounds that Captain America was a US soldier first and foremost.
Cap denied and returned the shield and his uniform rather than surrender his freedom to operate. Pouring the mix into a tank hatch mold, MacLain created the one of a kind discus shaped shield Cap would use for the bulk of his career. The absorption has allowed Cap to survive being struck by the likes of the Hulk or even a blow from Mjolnir. Notably, the shield will even allow Cap to survive a fall at terminal velocity, with Cap often leaping from planes and landing on the shield.
The films are a clear product of their time, coming off as cheap and somewhat hokey. The shield for these movies is a bulletproof plexiglass, primarily clear with a few painted segments.
This shield notably doubles as a windscreen, attaching to the front of his motorcycle. Captain America Comics 1 hit newsstands in and promptly caught the attention of MLJ, the publisher who would one day become Archie Comics.
The next month, Cap has his modern shield but never explains why. It was finally explained 60 years later, in Black Panther Presumably, the shield remains a Wakandan national treasure today. There, taunting a captured Captain America, Zemo and Mister Hyde set about destroying his personal effects. Among them are numerous personal documents and photographs, and the second version of his original badge shield he carried.
The Avengers eventually prevailed, but Cap was unable to recover the personal effects. Zemo at this stage was using time travel abilities in an effort to act heroic, claiming he aimed to save Earth from a catastrophic event. Hoping to gain the trust of heroes, Zemo takes Cap on a jaunt through time that concludes in the modern day, with Zemo returning the footlocker containing his personal effects, including the shield.
Ousted from the role by the government, Steve gave up his Captain America uniform and the shield. After a few months on the road, he returned as a hero with renewed resolve.
Donning an all-black variation of his uniform he received from D-Man, Steve became known simply as The Captain and carried on unarmed for a few issues. Eventually, he reached out to Tony Stark and asked for help with a new shield. Unpainted and fairly simple, the shield Tony created was made of pure adamantium. A part of the Armor Wars arc, Tony and Steve found themselves at odds, with Steve forcibly returning the shield to Tony afterward. Later, he received a new shield from Wakanda made of vibranium.
Returning from an alternate reality created by Franklin Richards, Steve went back to work barely missing a step as Captain America. In one of his first adventures back, the shield was lost and sank to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. Cap used a replica of his original shield from the Smithsonian for a time, as well as his energy shield, but during this time Tony Stark worked on recovering it from the ocean.
Upon retrieving it, the shield shattered. Cap set out with the shield to absorb the shockwave, fully expecting to die. The shockwave had already been absorbed by Klaw, however, whose amplified shockwave blast inadvertently restored the shield in the ensuing fight. Coming into conflict with an entity called Force, Guardians leader Major Victory faced him in battle with the winner taking possession of the shield. Going so far as donning a replica of his costume, Victory would carry the shield for nearly 40 issues before giving it to the recently freed people of Badoon as a mark of inspiration.
Future Imperfect saw Bruce Banner transported to the future where he encountered The Maestro, an evil future version of himself. Notable even on its own, the death truly resonated in the mainstream when late-night host Stephen Colbert read a letter from Marvel EIC Joe Quesada on air. The shield itself is believed to be a replica commissioned by late Captain America writer Mark Gruenwald. After Gruenwald passed away in , the shield found itself in the Marvel Comics bullpen until it was given to Colbert in , where it remained on display.
And as was mentioned on this very list, the shield shattered into pieces when it fell to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. Most recently, it was shattered by The Serpent during the event Fear Itself.
For Fear Itself , Tony repaired it with the help of Asgardian weaponsmiths who infused it with Uru metal to strengthen it. After losing his shield in the bottom of the ocean, Cap briefly used a replica of his original badge shield he found in the Smithsonian. During the Live Kree Or Die! To replace this one, Sharon Rogers provided Steve with an energy shield built into his glove. The energy shield did make a return when Steve came back from death and functioned as Commander Rogers, though it was rarely used during this era.
Tony Stark has a history of making adjustments or upgrades to the shield, and just as much a track record of making them worse. After Captain America was unfrozen and joined the Avengers, Stark attempted to upgrade the shield by adding a series of sub-miniature transistors and a set of magnets to his glove, Cap was able to somewhat control the shield. Stark has made at least two shields for Cap, as well. The pure adamantium version, which seemed to be a close approximation of his original shield, and a new version of his classic shield.
Created after he lost the original in the Atlantic Ocean, the new shield was unwieldy and dangerous for Cap to use, as nothing could be balanced quite as well as his original. Cap seems to have a complete mastery of the shield. Post-Heroes Return, he once threw it into the air and timed its return to mess with the head of a Hydra agent, implying it returned because he whistled for it.
Recently, in Captain America: Sam Wilson 14, Sam botches a shield toss and the end result is a government official being killed by Flag-Smasher. The likes of Bucky and Sam Wilson have been able to use it because of their proximity to Steve, and thus inferred skills from teaming up with him.
Clint Barton was offered the shield following his resurrection when Steve died in Civil War. Hawkeye proved to be exceptional with the shield, thanks to his marksmanship and incredible accuracy, but ultimately refused the role of the new Captain America.
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